A 22-year-old American student was beaten to death by a large group while vacationing in a popular tourist spot in Greece.
Bakari Henderson, who’s originally from Texas, was found battered and unresponsive by authorities on a street on the Greek island of Zakynthos on July 7. Henderson was beaten after an argument inside of a bar escalated onto the street, and at least eight others joined in on the assault. His family told KXAN that he was on vacation for a photo shoot to launch a new clothing line.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Henderson Reportedly Got Into an Argument With a Security Guard
Henderson was at the bar when another customer approached him and a confronted him. Eventually, that turned into a fistfight and the security guard at the bar asked the pair to leave to premises, state news agency ANA-MPA reported.
Once outside of the bar, the fistfight continued and more people — including the bartender and security guard — joined in on the assault. A report by the Daily Mail said that the attackers were “thought to have used brass knuckles to pummel his head” in an attack that lasted around 30 seconds.
Surveillance videos from nearby businesses showed the group of assailants continuing the brutal attack on Henderson even after he was unconscious.
One week after the incident occurred, chilling surveillance tape of Henderson running from a mob of people was released by a nearby business. In the footage, you can see Henderson running own the street as a large group of people begin brutally beat him. Finally, a female breaks up the altercation but not before Henderson is left laying on the ground unresponsive.
Watch the video below:
According to a report from a Greek newspaper, the Greek Security Division said that Henderson was taken to a nearby hospital for his injuries, but it was too late and he was pronounced dead on arrival due to what’s believed to be traumatic head injuries.
2. So Far, 8 People Have Been Arrested in Connection With His Death
The Greek news agency reported that so far, eight people that were believed to have played a role in Henderson’s death have been arrested. Six of them — all of Serbian descent — were arrested at a hotel they were staying at after a police raid.
That includes the 32-year-old security guard of British descent and Serbian origin and also the 34-year-old Greek bartender.
The deadly assault occurred on a busy street on the island of Zakynthos, an area that’s popular with tourists. The beating is thought to have occurred in front of many of those tourists who were out on the town for a night out.
3. Henderson Graduated From the University of Arizona in May
According to his Facebook page, Henderson was originally from Austin, Texas, and had been studying at the University of Arizona. He was majoring in finance and entrepreneurship at Arizona’s business school and graduated in May.
The school released a statement acknowledging Henderson’s tragic death. UA president Robert C. Robbins said that the school is reaching out to students who may have known Henderson to offer support.
“Our hearts and prayers are with his friends and family,” Robbins said in the statement sent to the UA community. “I can only imagine the deep sense of loss they must be feeling at his untimely death. It is always a tragedy when a young life ends before it has really yet to begin.”
Henderson’s family was notified of his tragic death, and released an emotional statement regarding the loss of their son. They said that he once interned for a member of the Texas House of Representatives and State Senate.
As you can imagine, our family is devastated by the recent loss of our beloved son Bakari Jaward Henderson. He attended Anderson High School through his junior year and graduated from Hyde Park Baptist High School in 2013. Bakari attended The Eller College of Management at The University of Arizona on a full academic scholarship and graduated on May 12, 2017 with a BS in Business Finance and Entrepreneurship. The summer after his freshman year at University of Arizona, he interned with the Texas Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Texas State Senate.
Bakari was in Greece working on a photo shoot to launch his new clothing line when the unbelievable tragedy occurred.
Bakari loved spending time with family and friends, traveling, and meeting new people. He was a big thinker and enjoyed coming up with new business ventures. Bakari was an inspiration to all he met. He loved life and lived it to the fullest.
We would like to thank our family, friends and the Austin community for your prayers, love and support.
Phil, Jill, P.J. and Jory
4. Henderson Played Basketball in High School & Was a Lakers Fan
According to a report from KVUE ABC News, a former classmate confirmed that Henderson went to Anderson High School in Austin, but eventually graduated from Hyde Park Baptist High School in 2013.
He played high school basketball for Anderson, and his MaxPreps profile says that during his junior season, he played in 34 games for Anderson, averaging 2.7 points per game to go along with 2.6 rebounds. He was listed as being 6-foot-2 at the time.
Henderson posted a video to Facebook in 2011 of a presentation two of his classmates were giving in what looks to be a history class. Watch that video below.
Photos of him on his Facebook profile show him dressed in a Los Angeles Lakers T-shirt, and one of his favorite basketball players, according to social media accounts, was Kobe Bryant.
One of Henderson’s childhood friends, John Gramlich, spoke of the type of person he was to KXAN, saying the two first met in elementary school
“Immediately once I met him I knew he was going to be one of my best friends,” Gramlich said to the news station. “We got along really well, he’s got a really contagious smile, whenever he walks into a room he really fills the room up.
“We played basketball together, we traveled to Europe together, we’ve done practically everything together.”
5. In 2011, a Tourist Was Beaten to Death on the Island by Taxi Drivers
While the Greek island seems tourist-friendly, the death of Henderson isn’t the first instance where a tourist was killed by residents.
In 2011, an 18-year-old man named Robert Sebbage (from Hampshire) was stabbed to death by a 22-year-old taxi driver named Stelios Morfis. In addition to Sebbage’s brutal death, four of his friends were injured when they went out at the Laganas resort in July 2011.
Morfis was found guilty of causing deadly bodily injury without intent and was sentenced to 11 years in prison, but Sebbage’s father Andy called it “a disgrace,” BBC reported.
Morfis had denied committing the murder, saying that he simply lashed out with his pocket knife when he was being taunted by the group of friends.
According to BBC, the group was attacked while sitting outside of a McDonald’s on a curb. Another man, named Dimosthenes Mylonas was charged as being an accomplice, but was found not guilty.
The family released an emotional statement paying tribute to their son after the verdict was read.
Nothing will bring Robert back but we strongly believe that the sentence passed does not reflect the horrific and senseless killing of our son.
We take solace from the fact that Stelios Morfis was found guilty of taking our son’s life and attacking four of Robert’s friends.
We are also comforted that Robert’s good character and reputation was acknowledged in court and that the other boys who were attacked were accurately represented as the victims of this violent assault.
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